Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Churchill deserves a rigorous defence

Feb 16. 2018
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Re: “Churchill fought for democracy, not EU tyranny”, Have Your Say, February 16.

Having so frequently criticised JC Wilcox, it is only fair that I compliment him on his thorough and eloquent rebuttal of those who claim that Sir Winston Churchill would have been a supporter of the European Union. 

Churchill was a complex and emotional person, and this was reflected in many of his speeches and observations. For example, he was often disparaging about India and Indians, in particular Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, two of the leading lights in the struggle for Indian independence, which Churchill bitterly opposed. 

In London in 1953, when Nehru saw Churchill outside Buckingham Palace, he went over and greeted him. Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi, later said Churchill had told her of his shock at her father’s lack of rancour, and that he had conquered hate. She noticed that as he said this, there were tears in Churchill’s eyes.

Many who support the EU and who want to co-opt his powerful legacy to support their cause have jumped on Churchill’s speech in The Hague in 1948. But I agree with Mr Wilcox that Churchill’s words, no doubt spoken with emotion only three years after the end of the Second World War, have almost certainly been misinterpreted.

I would have preferred it if Mr Wilcox had avoided his usual provocative and sometimes misleading language and not referred to the Muslim “invasion” of Britain, but never mind, that is his style.

Robin Grant

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